Friday, April 13, 2012

Sons & Daughters

“And it shall come to pass in the last days, says God. That I will pour out of My Spirit on all flesh; Your sons and daughters shall prophesy, Your young men shall see visions, Your old men shall dream dreams.” Acts 2:17

This week my wife Beth has been writing a series of devotionals titled, “Are You A Spiritual Teenager?”. She’s been drawing a great parallel between our natural and spiritual teenage years. Reading her devotionals got me thinking of our own kids. So, today I am writing them an open letter:

Dear Meghan, Annie, Luke & Eric:

You didn’t get to vote on the type of home you grew up in because I’m guessing that you would of have passed on growing up under the microscope of being a “Pastor’s Kid”. It’s really not fair for any kid to be placed under that kind of pressure, but God choose you because He knew you could handle it. He knew that you would be up for the task and He knew that you would flourish as a PK.

I know that Mom and I probably don’t thank you enough for what we, and the Lord, put you through all these years, but we are very grateful for your willingness to go with the flow of a life in ministry. Most PK’s grow up with just one of their parents in ministry but you were blessed with a double-dip. But, you learned to navigate it the best you could.

So here are a few things that we’d like to thank you for:

- Thank you for the dozens of times when you had to fall asleep in a booth at Applebee’s because we were talking to our visiting ministry friends after a long service. Those times of refreshing with our ministry peers were so important for Mom and I, so thanks for not making a fuss about it.

- Thank you for being willing to attend hundreds and hundreds of more services that anyone else at the church. You been in more services than even our staff members. And again, you’ve never complained, never gripped, even though we’re pretty sure that you did play sick a few times.

- Thank you for being engaged every time your Mom or I ministered. Even though we were your parents you choose to allow us to be your pastors, and that was huge and such a great example for your friends to see. Thanks too for letting us use you as sermon illustrations. I know we usually asked you for permission before doing it, but sometimes stories just slipped out.

- Thank you for thinking that your church was cool and never fighting us about serving in God’s house. You were always willing to serve wherever we needed help. Is that just because you didn’t want to hear the message for a fourth time?

- Thank you for all the times you allowed us to focus on the care of our church family even though it seemed like maybe we took our eyes off of you. Just so you know, you never left our hearts, no matter what we were dealing with. You were always always always Number One with us and you always will be.

- Thank you for standing with us through fund raising campaigns, building projects, and through all the changes and seasons of church life. When others bailed on us, you were there. When other criticized us, you stood up and stood there with us. Through thick and thin, you always had our backs. You’ll never know how much that meant to us.

- Finally thank you for being followers of Jesus Christ. He means everything to your Mom and I and we are so grateful for the very unique and personal relationships that you have with Him. Thank you for being so passionate about following His plan for your lives. While we’ve done our best to stay out of the way, you each have learned to develop a love and passion for God and His house that humbles us. Thank you for being sold out to Jesus and for giving Him your lives.

We love you, and we’re proud of you!

Our church like many others across the country are in a shift as we navigate passing of the batons of leadership to this next generation. Here is a great article by Dr. Warren Bird from the Leadership Network that highlights what’s happening at our church. Hope you enjoy it:

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